Sunday, January 11, 2009

Running the Sahara

(Photo at left was taken by Don Holtz and is from the movie web site.) Last night I watched the running documentary called "Running the Sahara." It's been playing on Showtime. If you have Showtime and video-on-demand, you can probably call it up for free. It's the story of three guys (Charlie Engle, Ray Zahab, & Kevin Lin) who decide to run across the Saharan desert from Senegal (Atlantic Ocean) to Egypt (Red Sea). That's a total distance of over 4,000 miles as they travel through 6 countries (Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, & Egypt). Pretty challenging goal! The documentary does a good job of mixing up the planning & logistics with the personal crew & runner stories along with the actual running (with wonderful footage through each country). If you've ever crewed for a runner at an extended ultra race, you'll empathize with the struggles that the runners and support crew go through...lots of unexpected changes, challenges, moodiness, bickering, etc. They are together for a lot of tough miles and long days in an unforgiving environment.

I highly recommend the documentary. In addition to checking out the movie web site which has lots of extras, look at their charity too...H2O Africa.


west birch said...

Thanks for this post, Chris. I look forward to checking out this movie. I've never seen a running film, so this should be an exciting experience. I look forward to also checking out "The distance of truth." Have you seen that one? If so, I'd love to hear your brief thoughts on that film. Thanks again.


Chris Ⓥ said...

Yes, I have the Distance of Truth DVD. It's good. I posted about it on Dec 27. I crewed Badwater and I always like seeing stories about those runners...and the scenery reminds me of my great crewing experience.

Anonymous said...

Watching it at this moment; bringing back a lot of memories of the three consecutive years I was in Death Valley as a crewer, pacer and runner.

The BW course pales in comparison to what these fellas are experiencing, but yes, the dynamics between runner & crew are pretty uniform across the board.

Great documentary about three great runners.

Happy trails,


Chris Ⓥ said...

I enjoyed it too. Great footage of the Sahara! It did remind me of Badwater. I'll be back in Death Valley in the future.

Anonymous said...

Scott just asked me to crew him again this year, so, provided I'm released, I'll be back there again this year!

Hope to see you out there at some point,

Connie :)